The Creative Commons

I chose to license my photo “Cob House” under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial Licence.  Although this photo wasn’t specifically made for this class, it has been used on my website before.  I wanted to license something 100% original rather than things that include derivative CC works.


Cob House in Devon England Creative Commons License
Cob House by Hailey Barger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Here’s a list of reasons why I chose (or did not choose) certain license attributes for this photo:

  • CC BY:   It’s unavoidable using the standard Attribution license because this is what the Creative Commons is all about! It is the foundation for all CC licensing: giving credit to the creator.
  • SA:  I chose not to use a ShareAlike license because I didn’t want to limit the types of licenses people could use.  Although I feel my license is a pretty open one, I want people creative enough to make my photo better or build upon it to be able to upload it under their preferences.  As long as I get credit, I don’t mind one bit!
  • ND:  This is my least favorite license. I’m all about remixing and finding ways to make something better. I believe we are a remix culture anyway (thanks Internet), so why try to stifle the flow of creative energy?
  • NC:  While I’m all about people sharing and adapting, I do draw the line at people making money off of my work. Call me greedy, but I would prefer to be the recipient of any money my work makes — even if it is remixed. Art for art’s sake is more meaningful than art for money.

Fictional Scenario 1 (Correct Use):

An architecture student wants to present a report on building materials. He chooses to take this photo and include it on an infographic where he writes a list of facts about cob houses, then does the same for other materials. It is then printed on a poster for his presentation and uploaded to his personal website. He is careful to give appropriate credit by listing the author’s name and correct CC license. For good measure, he also links the photo to the Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 website.

In this scenario, the CC license is followed because the student remixes the original work into an infographic and distributes it in several formats. He is not receiving monetary compensation and he gives all required attribution.

Fictional Scenario 2 (Incorrect Use)

A photographer posts this photo on their portfolio website and offers to sell 7×5 prints of it for $2.99. No changes have been made to the photo and stands as an exact copy. However, there is no attribution to the creator or the CC license. Instead, there is only a disclaimer at the bottom that says Copyright 2015 Joe Schmoe.

In this scenario, the CC license is not followed because 1) No attributions to the original are provided, and 2) The photo is being used commercially. Basically, this guy is a jerk who couldn’t even follow one of the most open CC licenses. Don’t be this guy.

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